Recently, I had the pleasure to travel to the rural Alaskan communities of Kwigillingok, Kasigluk, and Pitkas Point. The visit was made along with Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Administrator Jonathan Adelstein, Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund, and a few of our major program partners. As with other trips, the site visits to these communities were a reminder of why the Rural Alaska Village grant program and other Rural Development programs are so vital to rural communities.
The water and wastewater conditions in these three villages and other Alaskan communities are staggering. Drinking water is hauled from local watering points, which clearly do not meet safe drinking water standards. Wastewater is hauled by utilizing honey buckets. The same path that kids play and walk to and from school, is the same route that individuals routinely walk with their five gallon buckets of wastewater to honey bucket transfer stations. Read more »
It’s a bit boggling to imagine so much broadband technology could be woven into the far reaches of Alaska’s vast wilderness, but on August 25th it became a reality. Representatives of the organizations and people of Southwest Alaska who are benefitting from this important project, including a variety of local, state and federal officials, met in Dillingham to mark progress on the TERRA-SW project.
When complete, TERRA-SW will make broadband available to more than 9,000 rural Alaskan households and nearly 750 businesses in the covered communities. The project will also serve numerous public, non-profit, private community institutions and entities such as regional healthcare providers, school districts and other regional and Alaska Native organizations. TERRA-SW will provide middle-mile terrestrial broadband service to 65 remote, rural communities in Bristol Bay and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (Y-K Delta), including Bethel, Dillingham and King Salmon. Read more »
During his State of the Union address earlier this week, President Obama outlined a vision for the future that calls on America to “Out innovate, out educate, and out build the rest of the world.” A crucial contributor to this effort, as the President recognized, is rural broadband. USDA is funding the deployment of broadband systems across the country, and we want to help your community as well. Read more »
This fall USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) successfully completed its final round of grant awards under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). In the last year and a half, we’ve done more to bridge the digital divide for rural Americans than many ever thought possible. The Recovery Act has unleashed an historic level of investment in rural high speed telecommunications infrastructure that will create new jobs, new services and new opportunities across the countryside. Read more »
Only Oklahoma can turn a rural water backwash lagoon into a postcard! These lagoons will be cleaned and used with the new water treatment plant.
The Town of Roland, Oklahoma is located just 5 miles from the Arkansas border in extreme east central Oklahoma. Roland has the tools we need for growth, but economic development cannot happen without planning and a vision for the future. The new water treatment plant expansion will set the stage for Roland’s future. Read more »
Throughout this year, USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) consulted with Tribes on the Substantially Underserved Trust Areas (SUTA) provision of the 2008 Farm Bill. This provision directed RUS to develop a strategy to deliver infrastructure program funding tailored and more affordable to the circumstances and challenges facing trust lands in high need of RUS’s electric, telecommunications and water and waste program funding. Second, the provision directed RUS to consult with local governments and Federal agencies in implementing this effort. Read more »